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Tag Archives: grass-fed

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang

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I love trying out different cuts of meat from my butcher. I popped in around midday in Saturday, hoping to pick up some beef short ribs as I really fancied making something rich in collagen and full of the goodness of grass-fed beef bones. They had already sold out of short ribs, so I decided to go with oxtail instead. Then something else caught my eye – beef cheek! I’ve had it before in restaurants, but never tried cooking it myself. I bought one with the idea in my mind of ‘beefing up’ (pardon the pun) my oxtail dish.

I wasn’t exactly sure what on earth I was going to make with these random cow parts, so I had a flip through some of my favourite recipe books to get ideas. Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey piqued my interest as I already had some bits and pieces from the Thai supermarket lurking in the fridge. I decided I would make my own take on his Beef Rendang recipe (a Malaysian curry).

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang (serves 3)
Ingredients:

For the spice paste:
60g desiccated coconut, toasted in a dry wok
6 dried birds eye chillies
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
6 cloves garlic
4 shallots (small)
4 red chillies, deseeded

For the beef:
1 tbsp coconut oil
6 kafir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, slit down the middle
160ml coconut cream
1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed in 120ml boiling water
15 drops stevia liquid
1 beef cheek cut into chunks
3 large pieces oxtail
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Make spice paste by placing all ingredients into a food processor and blitzing until it forms a thick goo.
Melt coconut oil in a large pan or wok.
Add oxtail sand beef cheek and sear on all sides.
Add in the spice paste and fry for 1 min.
Add in remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and mix well.
Transfer to slow cooker and leave to cook for 4-6 hrs on high.
Just before serving, stir in cilantro leaves and sprinkle a few on top to make it look pretty!

I served this with mashed swede and rainbow chard sautéed in coconut oil, as that is what I had in the fridge. This would be great served with cauliflower ‘rice’.

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Lamb Shanks “Osso Buco”-Style with Gremolata

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Apologies for my blog post hiatus. I’ve been busy gardening (in the snow!) which means less time for cooking plus my man is taking holiday time which means we have done more going/eating out over the weekend than usual.
I was planning on a cheat day dessert post, however it turned out as a bit of a disaster (it was edible and tasty, but not up to my usual standards, so I’m not going to share my failings with you).

This lamb shank dish was inspired after reading Tim Ferris’ “4Hour Chef”. His recipe is very easy and sounds delicious, but I felt the need to tweak it a little and add some fresh and zesty Gremolata into the mix too (it is traditionally served with Osso Buco). I’m not a massive parsley fan but the flavour of the herbs, garlic and lemon really complimented the rest of the dish, so don’t skip it. This was the first time I have ever cooked lamb shanks and I was very pleasantly surprised with the result. I will definitely do them again, perhaps with a more Middle Eastern flavour – watch this space for that.

Lamb Shanks “Osso Buco” Style with Gremolata (serves 2)
Ingredients:
2 lamb shanks
1 red onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, sliced in half lengthways and widthways
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp porcini rub mix (see skirt steak recipe)
2 cups white wine
2 tbsp EVOO
sprinkling of dried rosemary
Salt and pepper

For the Gremolata
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 180C
Rub the porcini seasoning mix over the meat and allow to sit while it comes up to room temperature, meanwhile prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Sauté the onion and celery in 1 tbsp EVOO until onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Remove from heat.
In a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid, place the carrots in the bottom to make a shelf for the meat.
Place the lamb shanks on top of the carrots.
Spoon the onion, celery and garlic mixture over the lamb.
Pour the wine into the bottom of the dish (do not pour over the meat).
Pour the chopped tomatoes over the meat.
Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of dried rosemary.
Pour the remaining EVOO on top, cover with lid and put in the oven for 2 hrs.
To make the Gremolata, combine the finely chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a bowl. That’s all there is to it!
After 2 hours, remove the casserole from the oven.
Serve up the lamb, carrots and sauce with some additional veg and celeriac mash. Spoon the Gremolata over the meat just before serving.
Enjoy the meltingly tender meat falling off the bone!

Scrumptious Skewers

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I ordered some diced chicken leg to come with my organic food delivery last week. I seem to recall thinking I would make some kind chicken curry. I promptly forgot all about said chicken leg and defrosted some lamb leg steaks. I then rediscovered the chicken, after I had already planned to make some kind of lamb skewers, so I decided to do a double dose – both chicken and lamb but with different marinades for each. The result was absolutely delightful (if I do say so myself!)

I began marinating the meat in the morning and cooked it in the evening, but you could even begin marinating the night before. These would be great done on the barbeque, but as it’s still snowing intermittently here in London, firing up the barbie is not an option right now!

Smokey Chicken and Indian Spiced Lamb Skewers (serves 3-4)
Ingredients:

2 red peppers, cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
2 red onions, cut into large chunks

For the chicken skewers
400g diced chicken leg (you could also buy thighs and dice them yourself)
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp EVOO
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
Sea salt and pepper

For the Lamb Skewers
400g lamb leg steaks, fat and sinew removed and cut into cubes
3 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp cumin powder
2 heaped tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 large cloves garlic
Sea salt and pepper

Put all the ingredients for the chicken skewers into a large ziplock bag.
Try to get most of the air out and seal the bag, then massage the chicken well, until the marinade is well mixed and coating all of the chicken.
Repeat the same process with the lamb skewer ingredients.
Put both ziplock bags into the fridge and leave to marinate for at least 3 hours.
Place some wooden skewers into a baking dish and cover with water and leave to soak until needed (this will stop them burning in the oven or on the grill).
Preheat oven to 180C (or fire up barbeque).
Prepare the veggies then thread a mixture of meat and veggies onto the skewers. I recommend keeping the lamb and chicken separate so that the distinct flavours of each remain intact, but this is not essential.
Bake in the oven for 30 mins.
I served mine with some steamed broccoli anointed with grass-fed butter. Divine!

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Slow-Cooked Salt Beef with Roast Pumpkin and Sautéed Chard

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This dish was one of those ones that you just put in your slow-cooker and forget about. I left mine cooking for 30 hours! It was still a little on the chewy side which I was surprised about after the length of time it cooked, but as it was my first attempt at doing salt beef, I have no frame of reference. Don’t feel the need to cook it as long – I don’t think it would have been much different if it had cooked for half the time. The flavour of the meat was great (as you would expect from grass-fed beef). I served it with smokey roast pumpkin wedges and sautéed chard in bacon fat. Yum!

Slow-cooked Salt Beef with Roast Pumpkin and Sautéed Chard
Ingredients:

Approx 1 kg salt beef joint (aka corned beef – it should already be cured)
Enough water to cover the joint, twice (explanation to follow)
2 carrots, cut into 4 pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 4 pieces
2 bay leaves
1 small pumpkin, deseeded and cut into wedges
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
1 head of Swiss Chard, sliced
4 tsp bacon fat

Cover the beef with water in a bowl and leave to soak for 24 hours before you intend to cook this dish.
Discard the water after 24 hrs.
Place the beef in a slow cooker/crockpot and just cover with water.
Add the vegetables and bay leaves and cook on low for at least 10hrs
An hour before serving, preheat the oven to 180C
Melt 2 tsp of bacon fat on a baking sheet then place the pumpkin wedges on it, making sure you cover both sides with the bacon fat.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the smoked paprika.
Bake in the oven for 45-60 mins.
5 mins before serving, melt the remaining bacon fat in a saucepan and add the chard.
Toss to coat in the fat, season, then place the lid on the pan and allow it to steam in its own juice.
Slice or shred the meat to serve – the choice is yours.
You can also hang on to the water you cooked the beef in as a base for soups.

A Grain-Free take on an Italian Classic

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This really was a delicious Friday night meal! I love lasagna, an this pasta-less version was no disappointment. In fact it was verging on sublime! Plus it had the added bonus of not giving me a bloated ‘wheat belly’ or roller-coaster blood sugar that the original recipe does. Apologies if you are strict Paleo – this one’s not for you (although you could omit all cheese, however then it doesn’t really retain that much resemblance to lasagna).

Lasagna (senza pasta) con zucchini (serves 4)
Ingredients:

500g minced beef
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 sprig fresh basil, stalks removed, leaves chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 medium courgettes
2 balls mozzarella
1 handful Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 170C
Fry beef in a pan until all liquid has evaporated and only fat remains.
Add the onion and continue to cook until it starts to become translucent.
Add garlic and sauté briefly.
Add chopped basil, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar (for a touch of sweetness) and seasoning. Leave to simmer while you prepare the courgettes.
Very finely slice the courgettes lengthwise. I used a vegetable peeler, but you could also do this with a mandolin.
In an oven-proof rectangular dish, layer first the meet sauce, then a thick layer of courgette slices, then mozzarella. Repeat and finish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese over the final mozzarella layer.
Bake in the oven for 35 mins.
Serve with some steamed green veggies or a nice crisp salad.

A French Oldie (but a goodie!)

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For years I dissed (do people still use that word?) French food. I was vegetarian and generally speaking, French cooking is not! Boy was I missing out on some great dishes! I also was not a big fan of casseroles while I was veggie – there is no real joy (for me) in eating a load of mushy veg that have been cooked so long that they no longer resemble their former selves. When there is meat involved, it’s a different story! To cut a long story short, I have been making all sorts of casseroles and crock pot dishes recently. One of my favourites is Boeuf Bourgignon. It really is the epitome of winter warming food. I served mine with some steamed broccoli and salsify mash (I only recently became aware of the existence of salsify, but I’m definitely a convert!). I made mine in the oven but you could easily make this in a crock pot (and I have done when I’ve been more organised).

Boeuf Bourgignon (serves 3-4)
Ingredients:

200g bacon lardons
500g beef stewing steak in bite sized chunks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
250g mushrooms, quartered
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp mustard powder
4 anchovy fillets (yes, you read correctly! Just trust me on this!)
1 cup red wine
Sea salt and pepper for seasoning

Preheat oven to 150C
On the stovetop, fry lardons until the fat starts to release. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they start to soften.
Add the beef chunks and stir frequently to sear the meat on all sides.
Add carrots and mushrooms, then add all other ingredients and stir well.
Transfer to a casserole dish (or crock pot).
Cook in the oven for 2-3 hours (checking after 2 hours that there is still some liquid and adding a little water or wine if there is not).
If making in the crock pot, cook on low for 8 hours.

Salsify Mash (serves 2)
Ingredients:

6 Salsify roots, cleaned, peeled and chopped
Large knob of butter
1 tbsp double/heavy cream (optional)
Sea salt and pepper.

Boil or steam the salsify until it is really tender (around 20 mins).
Mash and add butter and cream.
Season with salt and pepper.
Who needs potatoes?

An American Classic gone grain-free

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It’s a horrible blustery, rainy day today and the ‘joys of Spring’ I felt yesterday have completely disappeared! Bootcamp tonight is going to be most unpleasant! Wet and muddy!

I may have been born and raised in London, but my mum is actually from Pennsylvania, and my grandmother hailed from Birmingham, Alabama. So I grew up eating a mixture of Pennsylvania Dutch and Southern dishes. One of my favourite comfort foods is meatloaf. It’s a very easy dish to make ‘Paleo-friendly’ and it is delicious and satisfying, especially when served with mashed turnips and cavolo nero or kale (it’s not easy to find collard greens in the UK!)

Meatloaf (serves 6)
Ingredients:

500g pork mince
500g beef mince
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
Bunch of fresh sage leaves, chopped
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
Sea salt
Pepper
1 tsp mustard powder (gluten free)
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 egg, beaten
For the tomato sauce
50 g tomato paste
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp allspice
3 tbsp cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 180C.
Place meat and all other ingredients (except the ones for the tomato sauce) in a large bowl and mix well using your hands until everything seems evenly dispersed.
Tip mixture onto a baking sheet covered with foil and lightly greased with a little oil or fat of your choice.
Form into a loaf shape with your hands, making sure it is uniform in size and shape so that it cooks evenly.
In a separate small bowl, mix together tomato sauce ingredients.
Completely smother the top of the loaf with the sauce.
Bake in the oven for 1hr 10 mins
Serve with root veg mash and steamed greens.